Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the release of Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers' Rumble. [July 9 - August 9]
An article about the making of Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers first music video, "I'm Not Your Man." From the front page of the Entertainment section in News of Delaware County on July 27, 1988.
He's Their Man | Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers Shoot First Video
By John P. Fox and Jay Friel
A million pretty girls.
Actually 200, waiting and wondering what small part they were about to play in local rock history.
While they paced in the stifling heat outside Ardmore's 23 East, This was the scene this past Monday at Ardmore's 23 East, local rocker Tommy Conwell, the object of their loyalty, sweated out the taping of his first video for Columbia Records, ironically titled, "I'm Not Your Man."
Conwell and the Young Rumblers will release "Rumble," their first Columbia album, on Aug. 9. And in this, the video age, any national album deal requires videos for each single. "I'm Not Your Man" will be that first single.
The young fans had been invited by Cornerstone Management to play a familiar role in the video: pack the 23 East for a raucous Rumblers' show.
Director David Hogan has worked on hundreds of rock videos, including those by Conwell's Cornerstone brothers, the Hooters ("Satellite"), Robbie Robertson, Rod Stewart, Prince and Bob Seger. This production is aimed at capturing the band in a live performance. Appropriately, the video's setting is the 23 East, the home turf for the Rumblers since their earliest beginnings.
The production crew began setting up lights, cables and cameras about 8:30 a.m. on July 18, and the actual shooting began in the early afternoon.
Conwell, sans the Rumblers, was swamped by technicians as the cameras keyed in on his hands and his hollow-body Guild guitar.
"All right, roll playback," boomed an authoritative voice. "Quiet on the set."
The background bustling stopped as Conwell's raspy voice carried from the speakers and spotlights beamed their heat on the Lower Merion High School graduate.
"Cut," broke the tension, and simultaneously the crew scurried with cable and lights preparing the band to take the stage and the fans to fill the floor.
Outside, the parking lot resembled a casting call for "Club MTV," as aspiring video stars waited for the cue to come inside. Some of them, coming from as far away as Long Island, N.Y., Harrisburg and Holland, Pa., had waited for hours in the heat.
Their vigil was momentarily forgotten when Conwell stepped outside to say "Howdee." "It's nice that someone from Philly decided to shoot a video here," said Lucinda Brzozowski of Northeast Philadelphia, who has been following the Rumblers for more than two years. "I won't complain if I get in the video," Donna McQuillan of Ridley Park said. "But I'm really here to experience it. I just wanted to see how they shoot a video."
McQuillan, who came to the 23 East alone, had made several new friends during the day.
"It was easy to meet people because we all have one thing in common, we're Tommy Conwell fans," she explained. The call finally came around 3:15 p.m. when the girls were given final instructions and ushered inside; their mood shifting from excited anticipation to cautious curiosity. They would not leave the Cabaret until after midnight.
The scene set: Conwell and the Rumblers took to the stage amidst the accustomed cheers.
"This is about music. We don't want you googly-eyeing the band," Conwell told the crowd. "You're here because you like good music. Remember just jam with the music." That would be the easiest part of a long, hot day.
'Rumblin' Coast to Coast
"Rumble," Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers' first album on Columbia Records is due in the record stores Monday, Aug. 8.
The re-worked "I'm Not Your Man" will serve as the first single, with the video expected to be released sometime during the second week of August. A copy of "I"m Not Your Man" has been shipped to rock radio stations across the country, bringing Rumblers rock 'n' roll to a new audience.
The band played to a packed Chestnut Cabaret last Thursday night. In the crowd were Columbia executives flown in from around the country to see one of the brightest new artists in person. From all accounts, those executives left the Cabaret with smiles on their faces, and dollar signs dancing in their heads.